The Rapha Gentlemen’s Ride, Los Angeles

Bike Effect is a new bike studio in Los Angeles (Santa Monica, technically), one of only two in the city and the only one on the west side.  Owners Steven and Alison are also the place to find Rapha clothing in Southern California. On Saturday, they hosted Slate Olson and the Rapha Team for the first-ever Rapha Gentlemen’s Ride in L.A.

It was the perfect opportunity to see the full Rapha line in person. Pieces I’d only dreamed about were on display in every color available. With plenty of coffee and pastries (they had the best croissants I’ve had in L.A.), roughly 50 riders fueled up for the coming ride through the Santa Monica Mountains.

Steven (approaching the camera) prepares for departure.


The Rapha Team bikes were gorgeous wonders to observe. This Sachs belongs to Jeremy Dunn of Embrocation Cycling Journal.

Soren of BMC with Butch Balzano of SRAM’s neutral support program.


Alison and Steven introduce Slate to the crowd.

Our man Lanolin, the brains behind Ritte Racing.

The big climbs of the day were Topanga, Fernwood and Saddle Peak, followed by the descent of Stunt and the climb up Piuma and Schueren and back over Saddle Peak before the final drop down Tuna Canyon.

Naturally, there was a bit of curiosity concerning just whether or not a ride on a gorgeous day in SoCal could constitute a Rapha ride. Those concerns were alleviated when it began raining on the descent of Stunt. Based on appearances, there were plenty of people used to wet, but not used to wet and downhill at the same time.

Riders collect at the intersection of Stunt, Schueren and Saddle Peak.


Butch (with his back to the camera) provided support to the ride and changed out more than a few wheels.


Jeremy of Embrocation relaxes at the top.

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10 comments


  1. Author
    Padraig

    Everyone: With NAHBS later this week, my travels will throw our normal publication schedule off some. With Robot enjoying a welcome siesta and me traveling with the family, the middle of the week may be a bit thin, but I’ll post from Austin through the weekend.

  2. slate

    Terrific to see you again, and ride together at last. Thanks for the tutorial on the descending- you certainly know those canyons well. See you in ATX.

  3. todd k

    Padraig: No problem on the scant coverage… would love it if you could stop by the Cielo booth at NAHBS and report back on anything new and interesting from them….

  4. Chris D

    Todd – There will be a lot that is new from Cielo at NAHBS. I’ll leave the decision on interesting to Padraig. Perhaps I can sway his opinion with breakfast tacos and coffee…


    1. Author
      Padraig

      There goes my journalistic independence.

      Not to worry; I like everything they do. Companies that make an effort to keep trail consistent across all sizes don’t get enough credit. One rake should not a size run make.

  5. todd k

    Chris D: … can’t wait to see the report out, feed Padraig well!

    I’ve still yet to ride one of the Sportifs… I missed the local demo. I’ve only seen them in person up to this point but can say that those sure are some beautiful frames.

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